Cheated by Landlord
A sum of Rs. 80,000 was paid as the security deposit, which as mentioned in the agreement was to be returned on the expiry of the agreement. However, the amount was not returned when we were to vacate the house on November 15, 2015. We also suggested the landlord to give us a postdated cheque, but the same was refused by them. Also, a gate pass; as per the society rules, to be submitted before vacating the house was not provided by the landlord. Despite many calls and messages, no response was received. By way of submitting a letter in the society office, we left the premises on November 19, 2015.
We continued to follow-up for the security deposit. After several calls and messages, they agreed to pay Rs. 25,000 in the coming week (last week of November), followed by the rest payment of Rs. 55,000 a week after. However, none of this happened. They stopped answering our calls and responding to our messages. One of the hundred calls we would have made was answered, where instead of being apologetic, they misbehaved and said we should stop bothering them, the payment would be made only after they get another tenant. The agreement nowhere puts forth such clause.
After mental harassment of the level, for the uncertainty in getting back our money and misbehavior from the landlord, we continued to call them. Finally, on January 2, 2015, they made a transfer of Rs. 40,000, saying that they deducted Rs. 15,000 on the below mentioned grounds:
a) Rs. 7,000 – painting the house
b) Rs. 1,500 – cleaning
c) Rs. 2,500 – additional stay of 3 days
d) Rs. 2,000 – carpenter cost for repairs
e) Rs. 2000 – electricity bill and gas bill
Refuting each of the above,
a) the agreement does not abide us (tenant) to pay for the painting of the house. Additionally, when we left the house, though the painting was three years old, it was in a good condition, except one of the bedroom walls, which was because of leakage / damaged walls resulting from society repairs. Also, after checking with all the brokers from the society, we understood, that as a practice none of the landlords in the society deduct money for painting of the walls. If, such is to be done, a clause is made initially in the agreement, which was also not the case with us
b) When we left the house, we got it cleaned, paying Rs. 500, which should have ideally been check back then when the premises where vacated, if there were issues. Also after having checked with all the brokers, we were informed, that cleaning costs are Rs. 500.
c) Firstly, we did not receive our security amount and the as per practice, houses are vacated, after peaceful term end and receiving back deposit amount. Secondly, a gatepass was not provided for the exit. Thirdly, negating both my arguments, even if a deduction was to be made, basis the agreement, it is Rs. 500 per day
d) The furniture in the house, is in a very bad condition. Due to the bad, condition, and daily use, the frame of kitchen cabinets came out. Even in case of any such fitting, Rs. 2,000 is an exorbitant amount to be charged
e) we cleared the electricity and gas bills, therefore, such deduction can not be made
Having said that, we already went through a lot of torture on account of trying to get our money back. After going through all this, instead of getting our hard earned money back, such irrational, baseless and illegal deductions were made.
We seek your help to resolve this matter. As per my understanding, a legal notice is to be sent followed by legal suit to be filed. However, I was also told, it entails a lot of cost and time. Considering the amount is Rs. 15,000, I also do not want a solution that will have me put in more amount than my recovery amount of fees of advocate, travel time, leaves cost etc. Could you suggest an alternative that is practical.